Thursday, February 09, 2012

Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2012......

This piece was originally posted in the blogfest below.  It seemed right for this linkup, too.

Last night, while reading the blogs of fellow ROW80 participants, I found my way here.....

 Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2012.  The concept and interpretation of beauty have long been a fascination of mine, and so I've come here to explore my own concept of beauty as it exists in this moment.

I say "in this moment" because my ideas about beauty have shifted dramatically throughout my life.  Maybe everyone's do; maybe it's part and parcel of growth, of deepening, of becoming more conscious and more aware of what I truly value...

How I See Beauty.... perhaps more easily expressed in pictures than in words.  And so, for once, I am going to keep the words to something of a minimum, and instead share a series of images that speak to me of beauty.  

Jeremiah, age not-quite 10, in a thoughtfully soggy moment.
Agemate cousins Sam and Annalise, both almost 7
From Cameron turns 11 - June 2011
Nate, 5.

Janessa, about 4, I think.

Lise and Nate deep in conversation.

Red tongues are important!

"Mud Monsters" Sam and Lise.
Jeremiah, 10, and Annalise, 7, soar and explore at Liberty Ridge Farms, Schagticoke, NY.

What's beautiful to me in these images is the selfness in these young people; the way their eyes meet mine through the camera lens, not as a grownup taking their pictures, but as a trusted friend.    They sparkle with the joy of the moment.

Or, the way they were intent and focused on just what they were doing, with an ability not to care what others might think about it.  Many adults have forgotten this, or had it driven from them, somewhere along the path of growing up.

So there is a rare and precious type of beauty, for me, in children  - or anyone - simply being.

New Year's Day cozy fire, 2010

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in our front walk cottage garden bed....

Full moon on Annalise's half-birthday, 2012

Old brick road off Market Street in Philadelphia, around the corner from Ben Franklin's print shop, July 28,2011.

Founding Father outside of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 2011.

Two old souls commune....

At the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, Wahington, DC, September 2, 2008.

The General Philip Schuyler House, Schuylerville, NY...Summer 2009.

Annalise harvests our blackberry bush, summer 2009

Paddock area, Saratoga Race Course, summer 2009.

Equine loveliness.

Zen Moment, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Canfield Casino, legendary gambling hall., Congress Park, Saratoga Springs.

Squirrel beauty.

Duck Pond Beauty.

Floral Beauty.

Glass-enclosed outdoor carousel, with sunlight, shadow, and reflections.

Annalise in motion before the Canfiled Casino.

There is something in nature, animals, and beautiful craftmanship that speaks directly to my soul.....the lush colors and textures of nature and how unexpectedly beauty can appear...

The way the light falls outside, and how it can trick my eyes and reveal things I had no idea were there...

How the passion and knowledge and vision in something lovingly crafted shines through...

And how nature and animals seem to bring out a more natural, freer side of people; a softer, more joyous, and more honest way of being that doesn't exist in the indoor, taken for granted world.

Jeremiah's Lego gun......looks like a crack shot!

An early fort by Annalise - cardboard, blanket, and sheet construction.

Invented pattern block and checkerboard game....with feet!

Geodesic dome climber.....

Interspecies relationship....


Learning to spell!

A machine......Tinker-Toy construction.

Annalise-designed choreography - with Little Toot cartoon and Echo the inflatable dolphin.

A boy and Carmen SanDiego  Chase Through Time....

Weighing at the Children's Museum of Saratoga.

Horse skull exploration., Wright's Farm,  York PA.

Being with nature,  in nature.

Tent sleepers....shhhhhhh.......

Annalise's "Tower of Plaza" -  videotape construction on coffee table foundation.

Tie- dye fun.....

Pride of accomplishment.

Sassy girl in a sassy sunhat!

My children's explorations, creations, games, and growth are beautiful to me, and I have arranged my life in a way that allows me to be on hand for many of these moments.  It is fascinating and beautiful to see them learning, deepening, and expanding in so many ways.  These pictures are nearly three years old, now.  The children portrayed in these photos no longer exist.  They are bigger, older, stronger, more certain versions of those little, younger, figuring-things-out people they were then.

That I can capture them, right where they are, whether perfectly turned out in a clean space, or, as seemed so often to be the case in these photos and that time of their lives, rumpled amidst seeming chaos, is one of the most beautiful facets in this unschooling life. It's the joy and life in their faces, the engagement that is so obvious to me.

This is the type of beauty that just swells my soul with feelings that have a lot to do with joy, and exhilaration, and a deep understanding of why we choose to live this way....

At Kaateerskill Falls, in New York.  Trip with the Mabee family, May 2007.  Photo credit Eden Mabee.

Lise and I, sharing the tie-dyed love! =) Photo credit: Jeremiah Burton.

Frog love at the National Zoo, Washington, DC.

Daddy's girl testing out her cheffin' gene.  Daddy love!

Sibling Embrace.....Sibling love.

Love watches me through the window....

Itty-Bitty love, 2005.

Getting to know you love - Annalise and I -  winter 2005.

Lise, Daddy, and Thumbelina.  Lotsa love!

Birthday boy love - at "Daddy's Work", Amigo's Cantina, Schuylerville, NY

Stick-pony love.  Annalise, age 5, with a friend at Liberty Ridge Farm.

Goofy-moment love.

My three loves in a tickle fest!

Pizza Hut Love -  just because.  Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.

Miah, Me, and Lise outside the Mayflower II, Plymouth, MA Summer 2010.  Photo credit: Random Friendly Passerby.

The family that laughs together.....Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.

Mother's Day Bubbles ice cream  love.  May 2007.  Photo credit: Mary Foster Boykin.

Merry Christmas love - Winter 2006.  Photo credit: Eden Mabee.

Snuglgle love.  Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.

Subway love - On the Metro, Washington, DC.  Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard  Burton.

Cool invertebrate house on a hot summer day.  National Zoo.  Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.

Love at the beginning - August 23,1997, beside Wild Island.  Photo credit: Random Wedding Guest with a disposable camera.

After a bath love.  Photo credit: Jim Bluebeard Burton.

Sibling expedition love.

Snowy Smiling love.

Sprinkler love at the Natiomal Zoo.

Love is beautiful to me.  Love in any form, so long as it is mutual and beneficial.  And, most especially, the love of the three people I love the most.

Love that glows outward from the deepest places inside each of us makes the world a more beautiful place.

May you all have love, and joy, and beauty so rich it overflows onto everything around you!


Coleen Patrick said...

Beautiful photos! Love the smiles and the spirit :)

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Thank you! I do too, and feel hugely blessed to have so much of both running rampant through my life! =)

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is wonderful. You are all about reaching out, and that is what beauty is. Thank you.

Shah Wharton said...

This post is beautiful! And those pictures really do your thoughts proud. I have chosen you to receive the Versatile blogger award. The post where you can collect it is here: Have a great day. :D

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Thank you for stopping by! It means so much when people let me know a post touched them in some way!

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

OK - third time I've tried to post this! I want to thank you, Shah - for the loveliness and inspiration of your author blog, for your kind words about this post and others, and for the award. That's twice in three days I've been nominated for an award that, when I first saw it on someone else's very professional looking blog, i thought, "That could never be me".

And now it is.

I am writing a post to begin to fulfill my obligation for the award, but I'm doing it slowly, at least until my sense of reality catches up to it....for now, I am absorbing, and becoming a little braver (yes, I am sharing my soul and no one is laughing or ridiculing me for it. Very different than sharing these things with my family of origin, and infinitely more satisfying.

I think I'm ready. Ready to receive; ready to share; ready to give.....

Again, thank you! May your time pass sweetly until we speak again!=)

sheri said...

You've captured so many beautiful moments with your family - what treasures. I loved these images.

And it's true, a child just smiles for the camera - never asks us to wait so they can adjust their arm or hair or try to hide their double chin. I mostly loved the pictures of the kids playing and learning - such sweet, pure and honest moments. Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

I love that picture of the little girl (sorry not sure who it is) kissing the frog. It just reminds me of being a kid, and thinking every toad could be a prince in disguise! All the moments captured here are truly beautiful.

In college I would always take photos of people when they weren't paying attention to me. In their natural element and not posing at all for the camera. These moments seemed very special to me.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Sheri -

Thank you!

I love to take pictures of children who trust me. And I love the way my own children look straight through the camera at ME - sharing that moment with me.

I love learning and playing and just being pictures the best.

Our life gives me LOTS of chances to do this. =)

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Susan -

The little girl is my daughter Annalise, at four. She's nearly 8, now, and still an imp.

She was admiring the frog, and I asked her if she would kiss it so I could take her picture, and she did, so sweetly.

I love the picture so much, it's one of the random headers for my other blog,

Every time I see it, I see Annalise as she was....

And I still love to take candid pictures of children who trust me.

Thank you for stopping by, and I'm glad you enjoyed. It was a wonderful post to put together.